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Platte River Half-marathon Race Report

First, the facts:

  1. My first half-marathon
  2. 2,409 finishers (of which I was # 2,362…lol)
  3. Time - 3:04:32 (pace of 14:05)
  4. Amount of post-race discomfort:  infinity

Okay, now for the prose…As I’ve said before, my original plan back in January, was to train toward a 11:27 pace - 2:30 finish. My 5-week illness hiatus in Feb/March kinda jacked that up, so my new goal was to finish, preferably under 3 hours.

All week we had been fearing snow, rain, low temps, etc. God did us a solid by keeping temps in the low 50’s, and there was zero snow, and just a brief sprinkling of rain. Whew! If I were to change anything about the weather conditions:  NO WIND! Holy cow, the wind really beat me up. For over half the race, it felt like a linebacker was going the other direction, pushing me. At the post-race vendor/food area, one of the easy-ups caught the wind and flew a good 20-30 feet before knocking a woman over. (she was okay)

I’ll spare you the detailed list of complaints my body lodged with me, but the biggest miracle, is that the plantar fasciitis I was told I probably had didn’t really cause much trouble. I was very intentional about my form, stride, etc. and walked through all 6 water stations (plus a few other walks as needed).

Some moments that made me smile:

  1. Sign that said “Of COURSE it’s hard…otherwise I’d be in it.”
  2. Sign that said “Something Clever”
  3. A guy blaring his Nickelback music said, “This is the greatest band in the world!”
  4. Some gal dressed as Waldo was pretty easy to find
  5. Very encouraging and helpful volunteers
  6. Near the finish line, there are two “carpets” you cross that read your timing chip identity. Apparently, from the first one, the announcer at the finish gets your name. So I heard “…and here comes Josh Neal! Way to finish strong, Josh!” Despite the pain and fatigue, a got a smile out of me.
  7. My first race where someone I knew was at the finish cheering me on. (See picture of me and my best friend, Chris)

So despite my moanings and groanings at home tonight (and probably for the next few days), yes….I’m definitely doing this again. After a week or so of rest/recovery, I’m jumping back into training. Next up: Garden of the Gods 10-miler on June 10 and ADT Marathon on Sept. 3!